Love is in the Air

As Valentine’s Day approaches, airports ready for romance to take off

By Jeff Martinelli

Published February 10, 2020

Read Time: 3 mins


As a child, Michelle DeGiovanni would always take the window seat when flying. She would gaze out and tell her mother how one day she wanted to work at an airport.

“I wanted to be on a ground crew because of how neat it looked,” she said. “I’ve always loved aviation and airports.”

DeGiovanni has incorporated that love in her life a couple of different ways. Today, she serves as Learning & Development System Administrator for the Allegheny County Airport Authority at Pittsburgh International Airport. And on May 21, 2016, she and her husband, John, exchanged their wedding vows at Allegheny County Airport in West Mifflin.

Michelle and John DeGiovanni got married at Allegheny County Airport in West Mifflin in May 2016. (Photo submitted by Michele DeGiovanni)

Love and airports go hand in hand. As Valentine’s Day approaches, airports are preparing to welcome lovers from all over in their own special way.

For example, Atlanta’s Hartfield-Jackson International Airport traditionally offers “The Love Wall,” on which customers can write their own expressions of love, and Jacksonville and Philadelphia airports provide free carnations to guests. Austin Bergstrom has had a special selfie station and literally gave away free kisses – of the Hershey’s chocolate kind.

Airports even have it covered for those who may have recently been spurned in a relationship by bringing out furry, four-legged friends. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport has had its miniature therapy horses visit on Valentine’s Day, while Asheville Regional Airport in Asheville, N.C., offers “Smooches from Pooches.”

“We have an extremely popular event every year on Valentine’s Day,” said David King, Guest Services and Sales Supervisor at Asheville. “In addition to handing out cupcakes, cookies, and chocolate kisses, our customers are always very excited about the dogs.”

This year, PIT will have special Valentine’s Day activities in the Airside Center Core and Baggage Claim. (Photo by Beth Hollerich)

Pittsburgh International Airport will also have its therapy dogs on hand to share some love, and a station in baggage claim will allow meeters and greeters to make their own special Valentine’s Day cards to welcome their loved ones.

But really, does Cupid really hang out at airports that much? Yes! According to a 2018 study, Chicago O’Hare, Atlanta, and Los Angeles were named among the most romantic airports, although a cynic might say, “Long delays can lead to a lifetime of love.”

Still, the internet is full of marriage proposals across the continent, from Toronto to Pittsburgh, and even between co-workers in Indianapolis and Salt Lake City. Yes, love will find a way – just ask DeGiovanni. Not even a smaller terminal or a little rain spoiled her special day.

“I love the Art Deco style of county airport,” she said, adding that it was in an excellent location for the approximately 100 guests. “The terminal is so cool that we didn’t even need decorations and the ceremony was held in front of big window that looks out to the airfield. Even though it rained a little bit, it was perfect.”

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